• Crime fightingDHS funds national consortium to develop better methods for fighting criminal activity

    The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been named a priority partner in a new DHS-funded national consortium. SHS S&T S&T) will award the consortium a $3.85 million grant for its first operating year in a 10-year grant period to create the Center of Excellence for Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA). The center’s research will focus on criminal network analysis, dynamic patterns of criminal activity, forensics, and criminal investigative processes.

  • Considered opinionAntifa says it’s fighting Fascists. It just might be helping to re-elect Donald Trump.

    By Ronald Radosh

    There’s no consensus of what Antifa, a contraction of “anti-fascist,” stands for, or whether their tactics will achieve their stated goals. The historian Ronald Radosh writes that the German communists used the slogan “After Hitler, Us,” and directed their energy and propaganda not against the Nazis, but against the mainstream socialists. “It didn’t end well,” says Radosh. Antifa emulates many of the actions of the German communists in the 1930s, villifying centrists and liberals who reject antifa’s commitment to violence.

  • GunsHospitalization costs of gun injuries exceeds $622 million a year

    Hospitalization costs associated with gun injuries in the United States exceeded $622 million a year, according to a new study. 57 percent of all firearm hospitalization costs were either paid by Medicaid—at more than $205 million—or not paid at all, as uninsured victims accounted for $155 million of the costs. More than 80 percent of firearm injury hospitalizations were among individuals age 15 to 44, with the highest annual rate of 28.9 per 100,000 among those age 15 to 24.

     

  • Alt-rightThe focal point: White supremacy

    The weekend clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia., which killed a 32-year-old woman and injured others has reignited long-simmering fears that racist hate groups are resurgent nationally and now may feel emboldened to push their goals publicly. Bart Bonikowski, an associate professor in Harvard’s Sociology Department, has studied the discourse of populist movements in the United States and Europe, with an emphasis on the processes that animate nationalist political movements. He says that he doubts that he doubts that the widespread public backlash suggests these groups might dial back their incendiary efforts. “It’s hard to predict the future, but I doubt that this will be the case. As I mentioned, these movements thrive when they receive attention in the media, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. And in this case, they’re getting the media attention as well as support from the president. So, if anything, this is likely to give them an incentive to hold more rallies and become more extremist in their practices.”

  • Alt-rightThe First Amendment and the Nazi flag

    In the wake of the 12 August confrontations between protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, some progressives are calling for legal restrictions on the display of the Nazi flag. These arguments are entirely understandable, but they often misapply existing First Amendment law, and they suppress free speech values that progressives — more than anyone else — should want to defend, says a Constitutional law expert.

  • DetectionDetecting concealed weapon, threat is not easy, and experience is no help to police officers

    Detecting potential threats is part of the job for police officers, military personnel and security guards. Terrorist attacks and bombings at concerts, sporting events and airports underscore the need for accurate and reliable threat detection. However, the likelihood of a police officer identifying someone concealing a gun or bomb is only slightly better than chance, according to new research. Officers with more experience were even less accurate.

  • Domestic terrorismFar-right extremists far greater threat than left-wing militants: Experts

    Leaving aside the moral issues raised by President Donald Trump’s unsettling insistence on equating neo-Nazis and anti-Nazis, experts say that the president’s assertion, in his Tuesday’s press conference, that left-inspired violence in the United States is as bad as violence generated by the extreme right, is patently false. The FBI, DHS, and state and local law enforcement consider right-wing extremists to be an order of magnitude more dangerous to public safety in the United States than left-leaning extremists. Domestic security experts estimate that there are 400,000-500,000 Americans who are affiliated, in one way or another, with various right-wing extremist groups, compared with a few thousand Antifa, Black Box, and other militant left-wing activists.

  • Alt-rightThe seeds of the alt-right, America’s emergent right-wing populist movement

    By George Michael

    Over the past year, far-right activists – which some have labeled the “alt-right” – have gone from being an obscure, largely online subculture to a player at the very center of American politics. Long relegated to the cultural and political fringe, alt-right activists were among the most enthusiastic supporters of Donald Trump. Former Breitbart.com executive Steve Bannon – who declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” – is the president’s chief political strategist. To its critics, the alt-right is just a code term for white nationalism, a much-maligned ideology associated with neo-Nazis and Klansmen. The movement, however, is more nuanced, encompassing a much broader spectrum of right-wing activists and intellectuals. Unlike old-school white nationalist movements, the alt-right has endeavored to create a self-sustaining counterculture, which includes a distinct vernacular, memes, symbols and a number of blogs and alternative media outlets. Now that it has been mobilized, the alt-right is gaining a firmer foothold in American politics.

  • ImmigrationImmigrant detention centers are referred to as “family centers” but resemble prisons

    Despite federal officials labeling centers where immigrant women and their families are held as family detention centers or release programs as “Alternative to Detention.” Researchers found the detention complexes function like jails and prisons and that ATD programs are essentially expanded surveillance schemes.

  • Home-grown terrorismWhite House needs clear action plan in wake of Charlottesville: ADL

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on President Donald Trump to follow up his words on Monday with a strong plan of action that will ensure the kind of white supremacist violence and anti-Semitic and racist incitement witnessed in Charlottesville will not happen again. Trump’s statement came two days after the events, and after a disappointing initial reaction from the president that seemed to equate the haters with counter protesters. “This is a moment when we desperately need leadership,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “But I think we should expect our leader in the highest office in the land to step above the lowest possible bar. Statements are not sufficient at this stage in the game. We need to move from words to action. The threat is not over.”

  • Home-grown terrorismCharlottesville attack shows homegrown terror on the right is on the rise

    By Arie Perliger

    Dealing effectively with far-right violence requires that we treat its manifestations as domestic terrorism. I consider domestic terrorism a more significant threat than the foreign-masterminded variety in part because it is more common in terms of the number of attacks on U.S. soil. The number of violent attacks on U.S. soil inspired by far-right ideology has spiked since the beginning of this century, rising from a yearly average of 70 attacks in the 1990s to a yearly average of more than 300 since 2001. This trend reflects a deeper social change in American society. The iceberg model of political extremism can illuminate these dynamics. Murders and other violent attacks perpetrated by U.S. far-right extremists compose the visible tip of an iceberg. The rest of this iceberg is under water and out of sight. It includes hundreds of attacks every year that damage property and intimidate communities. The significant growth in far-right violence in recent years is happening at the base of the iceberg. Changes in societal norms are usually reflected in behavioral changes. It is thus more than reasonable to suspect that extremist individuals engage in such activities because they sense that their views are enjoying growing social legitimacy and acceptance, which is emboldening them to act on their bigotry.

  • HackingPolice turn to hackathons as crime fighting goes digital

    Police and law enforcement staff are turning to hackathons – collaborative events for developing technology – to come up with new ways of searching for clues within the terabytes of data that many people produce every year.

  • Sex slaveryBritish model kidnapped to be auctioned off on the web as sex slave

    Chloe Ayling, a 20-year old British model was drugged, handcuffed, gagged, and put in a bag in the trunk of a car by kidnappers who then auctioned her off on line as a sex slave. Ayling, who was held by the captive for a week, was drugged with ketamine, and then taken by balaclava-clad men to a remote Italian farmhouse where she was chained to a chest of drawers. Her captors claimed they were members of a group called “Black Death.” They threatened that if her agent failed to pay a $300,000 ransom, they would use a “deep web” auction to sell her sell her to people in the Middle East who were looking for sex slaves.

  • ImmigrationUndocumented immigration does not worsen drug, alcohol problems in U.S.: Study

    Despite being saddled with many factors associated with drug and alcohol problems, undocumented immigrants are not increasing the prevalence of drug and alcohol crimes and deaths in the United States, according to a new study. According to the study, rather than increasing substance abuse problems, a 1 percent increase in the proportion of the population that is undocumented is associated with 22 fewer drug arrests, 42 fewer drunken driving arrests and 0.64 fewer drug overdoses — all per 100,000 people. The frequency of drunken driving fatalities was unaffected by unauthorized immigration rates.

  • ForensicsGeorge Mason’s new Center of Excellence for Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis

    DHS S&T has selected George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and other partners for a new Center of Excellence (COE) in Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA). The Center’s research will focus on criminal network analysis, dynamic patterns of criminal activity, forensics, and criminal investigative processes.